How to Survive a Preprofessional Study Session

  • Nov 9, 2016
  1. Don’t procrastinate. Seems like a given, yet here I am with a paper due in 8 hours that has approximately 10 words written down. It is so easy to push assignments and studying off until later so that we can unwind and enter into the latest Netflix binge, but the requirements of a preprofessional student are always looming and have a way of piling up in the blink of an eye. Set deadlines for yourself and have some discipline. Netflix should be a reward, not a delay.
  2. Get rid of distractions. Ahhh the magic of the “Do Not Disturb” button. Thank you Apple for creating a solution to my easily distracted mind. When you are doing school work, leave the phone out of site (the bottom of a backpack works well). Turn off message notifications on your computer and download apps on your browser that can temporarily block websites that have the ability to turn a 5-minute break into 50 (I’m looking at you Buzzfeed quizzes).
  3. Find a change of scenery. Whether you live in a dorm, apartment, or house: get out of there! Studying at home makes it way too easy to get distracted by rowdy roommates, an inviting bed, and a pantry that is calling your name. Find a quiet nook to hunker down and get your work done.
  4. Get moving! Exercise has been shown to get the brain juices flowing (paraphrasing here) so before you get ready to spend a few hours hitting the books, go to the gym, play with your dog, or even just take a quick walk. Regardless what your go-to exercise is, get your blood flowing.
  5. Mix it up. Studying in the same place all the time can make you feel like you’re in a rut and give you some seriously bad associations with that building. I still shudder every time I walk past the Union thinking about how many hours of MCAT prep I spent in that basement.
  6. Set goals for yourself and make a plan. Don’t blindly go into a study sesh without knowing what you want to accomplish. Make a list and check things off as you complete them. It makes you feel accomplished every time you get to cross something off and motivates you to keep going.
  7. Don’t be afraid to take breaks. Unless you are a robot that can go nonstop for 12 straight hours, odds are your brain is going to feel like mush after awhile even though you know you have more to accomplish. Periodic breaks are good for the body, mind, and soul. Just don’t let a quick timeout turn into a complete checkout.

Checkout Buzzfeed's article on the 10 Browser Extensions Every College Student Should Download. It's full of some gems that really make a difference in how you study.

By Sydney